NHFT Stewards Meeting Minutes
April 20, 2021
D. Cicarella, P. DeLucia, M. Solli, J. Graves, C. Heiter, D. Low, I. Festa, D. Canzanella, K. Hopes-McFadden, J. Roth, J. Gonzalez, M. Maloney, M. Comando, J. Maselli, B. Wolak, J. Dinan, D. DeNuzzo, J. Drymiller, J. P. Wilson, K. O’Keefe, K. Wetmore, K. Hebert, K. Rodriguez, L. DellaPietra, M. Galante, M. Gallagher, M. Seeger, M. Pavano, M. Soares, R. Repko, S. Whelan, S. Davis, S. Siena, S. Flynn, S. Boutin, T. Parillo, K. Distante, K. Morrison, K. Cudworth, T. Merritt, T. Criscuolo, J. Langlois, Z. Collier (excused), N. Charest
Call to Order by David Cicarella at 3:47pm
Motion to accept February minutes made and approved unanimously.
Motion to accept March minutes made and approved unanimously.
Legislative Breakfast –
Pat and Marianne were present and held remotely.
Marianne encouraged others to attend next year.
3 issues: air quality/remote/ECS funding
PreK-12 – Eric: Assoc of American Educators/American Rescue Plan is similar to E4E in terms of their “alternative to unions” public relations. However, contracts are already protected by unions.
FFCRRA (State) renewed until April – residual from Federal. l
ACCELERATE CT – ideas for summer programs sought: SEL for teachers with an emphasis on self care.
Federal/State Waiver on Accountability
TEVAL Reform: Informal/SEL goals/non-numeric/supportive – please include any and all ideas to Marianne Maloney so she can speak to Mary Yordon (AFT-CT Prek12 Committee Chairperson)
Need recurring training for teachers and admins
Remote: No student better off remote/incentive to stay in
· 4/24: Agidio – Retirement (9-11 AM Saturday)
· 5/11: Little Scientists (preK-8): how to engage
· 7/26-29: AFT TEACH - Virtual Summer Teacher Academy
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Calendar update. Evie Velazquez, Jen Wells Jackson, Dave CIcarella, Iris Festa, Joe Gonzalez and Pat DeLucia served on this committee that produced four choices for the calendar for 2021-2022. Special thanks to Joe for all the extra time and effort.
Teacher Climate Survey dateline/dissemination of results
Anthem copay will be reduced for Behavioral Health to $15 from $25.
Ad hoc committees for Grading/Election are ready to go.
Election update- Dave discussed the requirement for a second new election for President only due to a federal judge’s ruling on DOL’s lawsuit and their determination that he was not provided adequate notification in terms of the discipline meted out in 2019 (Tom’s ineligibility).
AFT has filed a motion to amend or vacte the ruling, but we are required to hold a supervised DOL election for president.
MOU: Covid coverage pay at Wilbur Cross. Additional time beyond lunch and prep, we can be asked to cover a class, but it cannot be on any REGULAR basis. It cannot be an assignment as a substitute teacher.
ADA sunset/renewal process-
Any reasonable accommodation must be considered but it cannot cause an undue hardship to the employer. During Covid the government has said that tele-teaching can happen as an accommodation. Now that teachers are vaccinated, HR went through all 250 staff members (not all teachers) and made a determination that the majority of the staff members with COVID related accommodations will be asked to return to work. Those who have legitimate reasons despite being vaccinated or who cannot get vaccinated may still have an accommodation. Those who received a letter to return had the decision based upon the Covid accommodation.
FMLA is a separate issue that covers staying home for family members, etc and sick time is available to these teachers unde an FMLA leave.
If the teacher is waiting for processing and HR has not processed the paperwork, the teacher has to make their best judgment, and they can take sick days until approval or denial by HR.
If the union thinks the accommodation is reasonable and is not an undue hardship to the district, we’d have our lawyer take a look at the legitimacy of the claim and also have the sick time returned once ADA is approved.
Update: school nurses--in terms of coverage, if schools are in proximity, the city side folks need to alert Dr. Whyte when nurses are not available so schools nearby can ask nurses close by to cover for schools who need them. Health Dept. has to tell the school system which nurses are not available so that the system can work in a better fashion.
Dashboard has not been updated since March 29th.
Conversation around when teachers used as substitutes becomes “regular” and how it’s defined.
Question and discussion occurred around the Wednesdays during hybrid related to the schedule of SEL Wednesdays and whether or not we will be at a five day week soon.
The trend will be to move to a four-day week from the schedule of AA SEL-Wednesday BB, according to Dave. No discussion or indication whatsoever of a 5 day return. Wednesday planning day to remain as agreed to.
Quinnipiac and West Rock teachers have priority to be placed.
Further question around ADA forms--do sick days get taken or should a teacher teach remotely pending the processing of new ADA requests? If sick days are taken in the interim, will they be returned once approval for ADA is affirmed? Dave will discuss with central office.
-If necessary, a teacher can take a sick day. The principal can authorize a teacher to teach remotely and if HR can accommodate the request, the teacher can indeed teach remotely pending the processing and approval of ADA paperwork. On Wednesdays the teacher can remain remote for instruction.
Riverside question about filling in on a regular basis for gym classes which has been ongoing for about two years.
Nursing supervisor needs to tell Dr. Whyte who’s available so that there’s communication between the city and the district.
Questions around MK Elections and the process for the second rerun election (only for president) that is upcoming.
Motion to Adjourn at 4:55pm